When I grew my first passion fruit vine in Thailand, I thought my passiflora edulis was unique. I had grown it from seeds I got from some fruits bought at the supermarket. Now we have a great variety of passion plants at Discovery Garden Pattaya from all over the world. They all come with completely different and amazing flowers and fruits.
When I was a child in Switzerland, passion fruits were the symbols of an exotic world far away. So whilst living in Thailand it was only natural that I tried to grow passion fruits in my garden. I bought a few fruits at Foodland supermarket some years back – passion fruits were hard to find then at stores, mainly promoted by Royal projects in the North of Thailand – and just tried what would grow from those seeds. If you have never grown passiflora edulis, you need not worry: It is easy. You can use the red or yellow fruits as your seed pod, the vine and flower you get in the end is the same.
Many Thais do not like passion fruits due to their high acidity, but I find them refreshing when added to plain drinking water. Or I turn them into a delicious passion fruit mousse. You mix seeds and juice of 4 large fruits, add 100 cc passion juice without seeds, 60 g of sugar, 250 g mascarpone, 200 cc of cream and beat this until the mousse thickens. Cool it and serve as a desert. I also make delicious jams with passion fruits, either together with litchi and mango or with passion fruit alone. I tried to make a sugar free passion fruit jam too, by using stevia as natural sweetener. The result is very good. LINK JAMS
Another very attractive Passion fruit we grow at Discovery Garden Pattaya is called passiflora foetida. Its pretty flower is pink and opens only in the morning. The small sweet fruits are red about the size of a quail egg. There is Thai variety with small orange fruits. The passion fruit vines that bear orange fruits come with hair, whereas the ones that bear the red fruits are hairless. Passiflora foetida can easily be grown all over Thailand from seeds. LINK
When first I saw a huge yellow fruit on a market in the Peruvian Amazon region I thought it to be a pumpkin of sorts, but it turned out to be the largest passion fruit in the world.
The fruits of the passiflora quadrangularis (Giant Tumbo) can weigh up to 4 kilos. They contain little juice, but their thick white peel contains a lot of pectin which can be used as gelling agent in jam production.
Even though we had many attractive flowers on the passiflora quadrangularis (the stem is square), we have not managed yet at Discovery Garden Pattaya to harvest any of the giant fruits. Therefore we at present can only offer plants for sale which we get from cuttings, no seeds yet.
If you cross a blue passiflora incarnata:
With a red Scarlet Passiflora coccinea:
You get a passiflora incarnata x miniata, also called Lady Margaret.
I close this article with some pictures of more passiflora which can be admired or purchased at Discovery Garden Pattaya.